The Texans are coming!!

What happens to a cowboy when his hat accumulates too much snow? That’s the mix we’re seeing. More and more steel toed boots and wide brimmed hats are riding the metro these days. And the good lord almighty, our saviour, a proud american, decided to dump a few inches of the white stuff on us.

So what did we do? We ran. 40 minutes around the city. Asa met Mark and I at my house then we trucked along the progressive sidewalks of Mt. Pleasant, over hispanic laden Columbia Rd., and down the urban chic 18th St into the Dupont area where the Republicans were dressed to be seen and happy to sparkle.

We said bye to Asa at his office just off the circle then slid our way down a wooded path into Rock Creek Park. Yep, just me and Mark, running in mild darkness under the quiet, snow dressed archways of winter branches, following the cross country ski marks along the path wedged between creek and parkway.

As always, we had to go uphill to get back to 1745 Park Rd. The ingrediants of grade, cold air, and my lingering cough came together in another body wrenching, dry heaving seizure performance. Funny how the girl who walked by let out a giggle and not an offer of assistance or even a glance of empathy. Ah well, progressiveness takes many forms. I mean, at least it wasn’t a Texas snarl and contemptuous request for my quarantine.

sweet jesus cold 3k

tidal basin 3k high noon. my god it was cold. i made the poor decision to ride my bicycle downtown despite the several inches of accumlation rapidly descending. enough people showed up and there were enough course police blockades, that we went inside the Jefferson memorial tunnel to sign our wavers and discuss rerouting options. the out and back backwards around the normal 3k course was what we did, ended up being a bit over 3k I think, as we hit the halfway perhaps a little under 6 minutes, and it felt like we were going at a good clip. At that halfway turnaround a masters age fit gentleman turned on the afterburners, while another guy followed, I was about 20 yards behind. Unfortunately 3rd wasn’t even in the cards for me today, on the last 100m I sprinted my right thigh into one of those giant planter barricades while heading for the finish, a guy in a sweet Craft windbreaker passed me. 4th it was, a little over 12 minutes for some distance greater than 3k. cold and snowy as hell, it should be noted.

Howard. Cold.

Howard track was locked down, presumably for the holidays or perhaps the winter. Cardozo is always the place to go, you just gotta sneak through the gate. The sun was shining today. The bitter cold didn’t bother me. Ran some laps threshold style. Oh, about 18 laps. Pretty fast like. Just a lil’ slower than 6 minute per mile pace. These kids on 14th ave. thought I was crazy to be running out in this cold. I feel crazy if I don’t. Go figure.
WU: 21′ (2400m: 89″, 90″, 90″, 92″, 92″, 92″: 9′:07″ avg: 91.2″) + (2400m: 92″, 94″, 93″, 94″, 96″, 92″: 9′:23″ avg: 93.8″) + (2400m: 92″, 93″, 93″, 94″, 94″, 93″: 9′:22″ avg: 93.7″) CD: 12′.
Total day: ~61′ w/ 28′ threshold

run or beer?

so Jared and I almost went for a Friday run. I had to move a car off of Park to avoid getting a ticket. Jared went to get his jacket. There was a communication break down though, I thought Jared was going to come down the hill and meet me, he did but we missed each other. 30 minutes later we meet at the top of Park and decide that it’s not worth trying to run on a Friday night. We go back to my house and drink some beer, Maggie and Liza come over and finish off the Amaretto chocolate chip cake w/ some decaf. Maggie doesn’t like Amaretto for some reason. I had dinner with Alex, Jonathan, and Claudia. Sleep at Zoe’s. That’s it. Except for the beginning of the day where I had to drive to Hagerstown, it ended up pretty nice.

Cathedral JROC

Jared and I were coming off the Sunday race pretty hard and in lieu of us both being sick our Wednesday per usual was changed to a fairly easy run up to the Cathedral and back. Jared mentioned that all the downhills hurt his legs as we were heading back into Adam’s Morgan. I think we mostly talked about Republicans, and how Republican girls are probably the randiest. Especially those UVA sorroity girls.

Total time: 39′

jesus long run

Georgetown. As you drive down the Rock Creek parkway southbound, look on the left after you cross underneath the Mass. Ave. and P/Q bridges. There’s this crazy dirt trail with wooden steps and dirt embankments that looks like homeless people, or perhaps Kevin Costner in his “The Postman” post apocolyptic phase, started to build this trail. Trail access is from the intersection of P St/23rd. where Florida Ave. becomes 23rd. Anyhow, check it out. It’s a crazy thing, flowing up and over the hillside above the creek in several tiers and drops out on M St. just in time for you to buy some sweet overpriced jeans.
(5 x 80m downhill strides, 5 different footwork drills), total run time: 70′


like ill. have a little head cold from the effort this past weekend with Matt’s going away party, where I didn’t drink any alcohol or caffeine, and yet still got sick. I’ve felt sick pretty much ever since running the mile yesterday. Which I think is a sign of a solid effort. There will be more.

hope for the American track scene

Slick rubber on top of concrete doesn’t make an ideal indoor track surface. Jared and I, however, were not deterred and took to running some of the “main events” as it were today at the Thomas Jefferson rec. center in Arlington. You really have to love the mile. We were split up into groups. At first we were worried because 5′ was the cutoff, and we were not that confident about our training, but they changed the cutoff to 5′:10″ to even out the heats. Prior to our race Jared and I had written our 38″ splits on our hands for easy reference if we decided to run a 5′:04″ mile.

Before I go any further, I should mention that this entire gym was filled with kids age 5-14. There were essentially no highschoolers, or young adults. Many parents, after watching their kids, would race an event. It was really funny for Jared and I, as we asked outloud, “why aren’t more kids in the mid-twenties hanging out at an indoor track in at 8am?” It felt like an odd Christopher Guest movie, where the rank amateurism was offset by the savage enthusiam of the parents and the tenacity with which some of the 10 years olds would run the 400m’s, 800s, and the mile! Yes the mile! Rugrats!

Anyhow, Jared and I had a good race. I ran a 5′:05 and Jared a 5′:10. Jared beat me later in the 800m race by over 5 seconds, which leads me to think that he should’ve used that extra energy of his on a faster mile. I joined a group or older gentlemen as the lead leg in the 4x400m, my first lap was around 27″ the 2nd around 38″, which I think is promising. After going to little Vietnam/ Seven Corners, we spotted a horse mounted police officer smoking either a cigarrette, or a cigar. I laughed. I think it’d be awesome if all the mounted police smoked tobacco pipes with riding Rock Creek. It gives me hope. That and watching kids have fun running. Thanks for reading.

Is 400m 380m?

We rode our bikes up a large hill known as Porter today all the way to American University to run in the fog, the wet, and the dark, to try a new track. It wasn’t a super track, and Jared had gone out with his sister and friends last night perhaps too late. Was the track slow? Is Cardozo track less than 400m? I don’t know. I think we did alright. We did 4x 1200m repeats at V02 max pace, which according to our progress is around 85 seconds per lap. American’s track wasn’t as soft, and not as gothic or ominous in the dark. Anyhow, it took about 25 minutes to get there, and back, which isn’t very time effective, but perhaps we’ll go to St. John’s college and check that one out.
Time: ~50 min bike w/u + c/d; WU 1200m (87.2″ short, 93.8″, 92.5″: 4′:23.5″), first 1200m (87.2″, 88.7″, 89.6″: 4″:25.5″, avg: 1′:28.5″) second 1200m (83.0″, 86.84″, 89.5″: 4′:19.3″ avg 1′:26.4″ ) third 1200m (80.5″, 87.9″, 85.0″: 4′:13.4″, avg 1′:24.5″) fourth 1200m (84.2″, 84.0″, 84.2″: 4′:12″, avg 1′:24.1″) Track run total: ~22′

Burke Lake to Kabul

Went to see Ben Horne with Matt. He’s doing alright except for some war wounds from Bishkek, big fingers, a slight limp. He had crazy pictures of his travels after the Peace Corps, and he admitted, not enough pictures from Kyrgyzstan proper, but his travels were amazing. Silk route, an old Russian 4wd Geo-Metro type, all the way to Afghanistan. Anyhow, we went to Burke Lake. I ran about 4.5 miles or so. Total ~38 min

run up the hill _then_ around the track

you know the workout is going well when about half way through you feel like puking. Jared didn’t show it, but I felt like ass after the 2nd set of hills but before the 3rd, and 4th (400m + 2x 200m) repeats. It was hot and raining. I was wearing only shorts and tee. Jared was running solid tonight which was good to see. We were shooting for 75″ and he hit 72″. On the final 200m he ran a 31.8″ I was 0.6″ behind him. This was definitely the type of workout we’ll do more of. Faster 400m’s. Sub 35″ 200m repeats. Maybe days devoted to short fast hill repeats. My legs are gone. Yesterday was a solid 60′ run, and today with a 26′ morning, the evening was heavy. The thing about speed is that it is addictive. I think morning runs will be about barefoots downhill strides, form focus. Turnover. Strength. You ask yourself, what marginal existance will sustain this type of training? What if, all we want, is to be better?

Work out goals: 5x 13th St. hill repeat, 5x (400m + 2x 200m)
Achieved: 4x hill, 4x (400m + 2x 200m)

Hill Repeat: 41.3″, 41.5″, (track) 39.7″, 40.8″ (track)
Track repeats: ((400m) 82.8″ (200m) 37.8″, 38.4″ (400m) 75.2″ (200m) 36.1″, 35.9″)
((400m) 72.5″ Jared 73.7″ Mark (200m) 35″, 34.4″
(400m) 70.5′ Mark 72.2″ Jared (200m) 35.5″, 31.8″Jared 32. 4″ Mark)
w/u + c/d: 15′ + 9′

totals: Mark morning: ~27′, evening ~37′, Mark total: 64′

First Run of the Year.

It was a slightly cool, grey Sunday afternoon, perfect for a long run. Starting at 1745 Park Rd. we took it easy on the downhill into the Zoo and onto the Rock Creek pathway. We followed that South down to Georgetown then cut across via the C&O. The path was closed for a short section so we jumped down into the mostly dry canal, ran several hundred yards with a step here and there sinking an inch or two in the mud, then climbed up the stone wall and back out onto the track. After a km or so, we diverted off of the C&O, under a bridge and onto a dirt path. I’m not sure enough of our location in the city to describe it in this writing but it did include a long stretch through the woods and several intense hill sections until eventually putting us back on the Rock Creek Pathway. The run ended with a hard push up the big hill to Calvert then, having eclipsed the hour mark, we slowed to strolling pace, so as to soak in the first Sunday afternoon of 2005 in Adam’s Morgan and Mt. Pleasant. Tomorrow, speed…

Mark notes: I felt really good today for some reason. Took about 30 minutes to warm up but once we hit the C&O I felt like we could roll. The hills were nice, and the downhills back in Dunbarton Oaks felt great. Total run ~60 minutes

jan one

for new years Mark camped out in GW forest with Matt, Mags, Zoe, and Charlie. We hiked about 20 km on the long loop up the Big Schloss. Jared camped at 1745 Park Rd. in Mt. Pleasant and kicked it wildstyle with Meg and Jessica, DC. Jared didn’t mention if he did any physical activity on the first day of the new year.